There is no “Slumdog Millionaire” here. Chanel presented its pre-fall Paris-Mumbai collection before a sumptuous feast in Paris’ Grand Palais, transforming the space into a maharajah’s palace. Models circled around a grand banquet of fruits and sweetmeats, their foreheads draped in jewels.
The collection was not influenced by contemporary Bollywood, Karl Lagerfeld told the New York Times. Rather, he took inspiration from India under the Mughal Empire, British colonialism and even a touch of the ashram-dwelling hippies of the ’60s.
The collection is also a sign that India has truly arrived on the international fashion scene, Indian fashion bloggers say. Vogue India launched in 2007, and high-profile designers have been showing clothes with an Indian flair — or designing for Indian consumers — ever since. Before Lagerfeld’s line, there was Bottega Veneta’s Indian-inspired clutch to celebrate the opening of its Mumbai store, and Hermes’ collection of saris.
Still, not everyone is happy about Lagerfeld’s presentation. Though there were Indian and Pakistani models included in the show, the majority of the faces were European. Says Models.com: “When it comes to presenting a cast that represents the melting pot we all live in, fashion still has a long way to go.”